Joe Mazzulla officially named head coach

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
8,110
It was clearly a double dribble, but Al still defended the shot by going for a ball strip instead of standing straight up and letting Butler take a horribly low percentage shot (that probably would have gone in the way things were going).

Oh well, worked out.
It looked to me that Al was planning to stand straight up and challenge, but the Butler escape double dribble put Horford in bad position.
 

djbayko

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
26,218
Los Angeles, CA
The challenge was also totally fine: they still had a timeout to advance it, and some refs would have had the balls to call Jimmy's clear double dribble.
Does the ref even have the ability to call a double dribble there on a challenge when it wasn’t called originally?
 

SteveF

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
2,175
Does the ref even have the ability to call a double dribble there on a challenge when it wasn’t called originally?
Ed is correct.

"The on-court crew chief may also review the video to determine only the following other matters:

(1)Whether the correct player (including a player on the opposing team) was called for the foul;
(2) Whether a different foul proximate to the called foul should have been called;
(3) Any aspect related to continuation, including, but not limited to:
(a)Whether the foul occurred prior to the offensive player beginning his shooting motion if the foul is committed by a defensive player;
(b)Whether a made basket that the on-court game officials counted shall not count because an offensive player committed a violation after the offensive player gathered the ball; and
(c)Whether a made basket disallowed by the on-court game officials shall count because the shot constituted legal continuation.
  1. (4) Whether a goaltending or basket interference violation occurred on the play;
  2. (5) Whether the game clock expired prior to the foul;
  3. (6) Whether the shot clock expired prior to the foul;
(7) If an offensive player was fouled while in possession of the ball, whether the player who was fouled committed a boundary line violation either just prior to or after the foul;
(8) Whether an 8-second backcourt violation occurred before the player was fouled; and
(9) Whether any unsportsmanlike acts or unnecessary contact occurred."
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
31,572
Geneva, Switzerland
The only real problem coaching wise last night was the horrible offensive slowdown in the last four minutes--and I'd note that's a problem we've had for the last three coaches.

Joe is learning. That's my take.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
31,572
Geneva, Switzerland
Can we confirm 100% that the three free throws rather than two was automatic and not a result of CJM's review call? If that's correct, the wrong info is all over the press still.
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
8,469
New York City
Can we confirm 100% that the three free throws rather than two was automatic and not a result of CJM's review call? If that's correct, the wrong info is all over the press still.
It wasn't "automatic." This is what the last two minute report says:
Replay review of the foul called on Horford (BOS) pursuant to a coach's challenge was deemed unsuccessful. Horford (BOS) made contact with Butler (MIA) during his shooting motion and a foul was warranted. During the review, the Replay Center Official also determined that i) the foul occurred at 3.0 seconds and adjusted the clock accordingly; and ii) Butler's shot attempt was taken from behind the three-point line, and therefore three free throws were awarded.
That said, as TripleOT notes, the replay review or the refs on the court probably would have initiated review anyway since it was so close and it was such a key decision. But it's at least theoretically possible they wouldn't have.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,518
It wasn't "automatic." This is what the last two minute report says:


That said, as TripleOT notes, the replay review or the refs on the court probably would have initiated review anyway since it was so close and it was such a key decision. But it's at least theoretically possible they wouldn't have.
That wording makes it unclear. On-floor ref makes determination on a coach's challenge, so it's unclear there if the replay center in assisting by getting the 3 and 2, or if the replay center is making their own review at the same time.
Edit- not that it matters, they always review 3 vs 2 in Seacaucus, not aware of any time they haven't since the rule came in.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,518
No, because NBA challenge rules are arbitrary and stupid.
Yes and no, they couldn't say "double dribble no foul" but they could say Foul, but not shooting because the player committed a violation between the foul and the shot so no continuation.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,433
Not clear they could call out a violation between foul and shooting, from the rule. I do think, prudentially, they might say (if they correctly ruled a double dribble) there is no foul. But there’s not obviously a way to actually call a violation for it stand-alone.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,526
Can we confirm 100% that the three free throws rather than two was automatic and not a result of CJM's review call? If that's correct, the wrong info is all over the press still.
An ESPN article breaking down the "double dribble" confirmed that the NBA likely would have awarded Butler 3 shots even without the challenge. So this meme of the Celtics being stuck with Mazzulla for the next couple of years can probably die. Also, the challenge did give the Celtics 3.0 seconds instead of 2.1:

https://theathletic.com/4558415/2023/05/28/derrick-white-celtics-game-6-heat/

Though Mazzulla’s challenge of the foul on Butler was deemed unsuccessful, it allowed the referees to review how much time should be left. Instead of 2.1 seconds, the amount of time initially remaining after Horford’s foul on Butler, the referees put 3.0 seconds on the clock. That gave the Celtics enough time to think about an offensive rebound if their initial shot missed.

“That challenge,” said Williams, “saved our ass.”
Have the details (yrs $) of CJMs extension been made public? Are the Celts on the hook for another 2 yrs @ $2-3 M PY?
The plan is to revamp the assistant coaching staff, for which there will likely be a plethora of qualified candidates available.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
49,838
The Cs won and so the people who aren't capable of savoring their good fortune gravitate to a non-story about Mazzulla's challenge, which was completely irrelevant given the result of the game.


The Celtics won the game. The extra FT is completely and irrefutably irrelevant - even if they may not awarded it sans challenge.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
8,110
The Celtics have also lost playoff games they probably should have won with Stevens and Udoka as coach. Because the three Heat losses came in a row, including two at home where the Cs had late game fumbilitis (same as in previous seasons), the calls for Mazzulla’s job crescendoed.

Since game 4, the Celtics have righted the ship. This young rookie coach put the blame for the game 3 debacle on his shoulders. Since then, his team pulled together and is now a home win away from the Finals. Joe has shown great character. He has made solid adjustments. His players seemed to rally around him. Maybe one of the failed coaches on the market could do a better job with this group next season, or maybe not, but a fourth coach in four years would send a horrible signal to key players.

If ownership decided to move on from Mazzulla, which is extremely unlikely, I don’t think he would stay unemployed for long. He has all the attributes a franchise would want in a coach, except for NBA head coaching experience. I certainly get the piling on here about Mazzulla in these playoffs and this series, but to me he has learned and progressed as the coach of this enigmatic team. I look forward to seeing what he can do when he has his own staff, a traditional preparation runway, and a year of HC experience under his belt. Even incremental improvement of this squad and its coach should terrify the rest of the league. Once they figure out how to consistently jump on teams early, especially at home, hold leads, and close better, they can be a perpetual sixty win team and title favorite.
 

bankshot1

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 12, 2003
25,127
where I was last at
During the season I had my doubts a rookie CJM was the guy to lead a supremely talented but immature veteran team achieve their goals. Nothing that has taken place in the post season has changed my opinion. We are lucky we are still in the tourney. But we are So it may be impossible now to make a change. So we may have CJM on a short leash with a Don Zimmer type by his a side. A guy who knows the inside game but too old to sand bag CJM. The opportunity cost of more CJM is IMO pretty high.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,526
Hard to tell the Celtics won 3 games in a row with Mazzulla having made some adjustments in the process. Are people really biting on the debunked narrative that his challenge awarded Butler an extra foul shot?
 

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,869
Honolulu HI
If ownership decided to move on from Mazzulla, which is extremely unlikely, I don’t think he would stay unemployed for long. He has all the attributes a franchise would want in a coach, except for NBA head coaching experience.
Even Mazzulla’s greatest defenders can’t claim that he has any skill handling the media. It’s gotten so bad that my wife and I have to come to consider his post-game interviews as must see TV.
He’s just uniquely uncomfortable behind the mic, with a frozen facial expression that somehow perfectly combines anxious discomfort with disdain. As a viewer, I find the whole thing hilarious; truly a master class in unintentional comedy…
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
8,110
Even Mazzulla’s greatest defenders can’t claim that he has any skill handling the media. It’s gotten so bad that my wife and I have to come to consider his post-game interviews as must see TV.
He’s just uniquely uncomfortable behind the mic, with a frozen facial expression that somehow perfectly combines anxious discomfort with disdain. As a viewer, I find the whole thing hilarious; truly a master class in unintentional comedy…
His delivery may be lacking, but when he needed to control the narrative after the Game 3 debacle, he was at least partially successful. Taking the blame for his team’s collapse was the smart move. When listing the attribute a good NBA coach needs, being good in a press conference isn’t high on my list. He’s never going to be a Doc Rivers or a Mark Jackson behind the mic, but shouldn’t have to be. Hopefully he will get better at putting out messages that attempt to influence referees.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,398
On Lowe's "the Celtics are cooked" podcast with Marks a week ago, Lowe mentioned that he thought Tatum was pushing for TL to start, and upset at Mazzulla for not going that direction until game 6 against Philly.

If that was the case, I'd imagine that Mazzulla has earned some "head decision maker" capital with how the past few games have gone. They went away from double-big, changed their scheme to switch more and help more, and have found something they can use on Tatum-led teams going forward.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,526
Some additional support for the fact that Butler's shot was going to be reviewed:

From Gary Washburn, quoting the NBA's head of referee development:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/05/28/sports/bizarre-eastern-conference-finals-celtics-proved-up-challenge-improbable-game-6-finish/?event=event12

According to Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s head of referee development, the replay center would have informed the officiating crew that Butler’s feet were behind the 3-point line regardless of Mazzulla’s review.

The officials also strangely added 0.9 seconds to the clock — as a result of the challenge, according to McCutchen, because the review showed Horford’s first illegal contact on Butler occurred at 3.0 despite the clock stopping at 2.1.

“When you challenge a foul, we go to the first illegal act,” McCutchen told the Globe. “Mind you it’s not the camera angle that’s floating around on Twitter. We have nine different camera angles. We [show] the camera angle and the official says, ‘Right there. That’s where I had the foul.’ And we go from there.”
And from Himmelsbach:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/05/28/sports/sneaky-good-challenge-some-airport-trolling-eight-other-observations-another-season-saving-win/

o, this was the deal with Al Horford’s foul on Jimmy Butler’s 3-pointer that helped Miami take the lead in the final seconds: It was initially ruled a two-shot foul, and the clock was stopped at 2.1 seconds. Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla used a challenge, and some viewed it as a colossal mistake when the review showed that Butler was actually behind the 3-point line.

But that would have been reviewed even without the challenge. The clock, however, would not have been, and thanks to the challenge, 0.9 seconds were added. That extra time proved to be pretty helpful.
"Pretty helpful", in that without those 0.9 seconds, Miami would be making travel arrangements to Denver.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
45,711
Here
I mean…why the hell would the clock not have been changed? Don’t they change it when reviewing automatic out of bounds calls? Why is the rule written in such a way you can review for the 3 and not change the clock, but it can change on an unsuccessful challenge about something else?

So random.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,186
Some additional support for the fact that Butler's shot was going to be reviewed:

From Gary Washburn, quoting the NBA's head of referee development:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/05/28/sports/bizarre-eastern-conference-finals-celtics-proved-up-challenge-improbable-game-6-finish/?event=event12



And from Himmelsbach:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/05/28/sports/sneaky-good-challenge-some-airport-trolling-eight-other-observations-another-season-saving-win/


"Pretty helpful", in that without those 0.9 seconds, Miami would be making travel arrangements to Denver.
That is so fucking strange that the clock wouldn’t have been changed. Like what’s thd point of that?
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
33,391
On Lowe's "the Celtics are cooked" podcast with Marks a week ago, Lowe mentioned that he thought Tatum was pushing for TL to start, and upset at Mazzulla for not going that direction until game 6 against Philly.

If that was the case, I'd imagine that Mazzulla has earned some "head decision maker" capital with how the past few games have gone. They went away from double-big, changed their scheme to switch more and help more, and have found something they can use on Tatum-led teams going forward.
Why would Joe making the wrong call against Philly have anything to do with the roster deployment against the Heat? A few of us were asking for 2 bigs against Philly and it worked.
 

sezwho

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
2,094
Isle of Plum
Not sure if this is the right thread, and still too raw to decide how much of what just happened to lay at Joe’s feet (vs Jaylen dribbling of his own feet or Jayson scoring just 14 points 2x this series or the masonry display from not DW), but he certainly wasn’t covered in glory.

Has there ever been a year with so many Boston teams being seemingly undone by coaching? The Celtics playoffs, Bruins Playoffs and Patriots didn’t even get that far.

Just weird.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
10,246
San Francisco
Not sure if this is the right thread, and still too raw to decide how much of what just happened to lay at Joe’s feet (vs Jaylen dribbling of his own feet or Jayson scoring just 14 points 2x this series or the masonry display from not DW), but he certainly wasn’t covered in glory.

Has there ever been a year with so many Boston teams being seemingly undone by coaching? The Celtics playoffs, Bruins Playoffs and Patriots didn’t even get that far.

Just weird.
I think looking at the Celtics shooting numbers this series on good looks it's really hard for me to put this on the coach. I find it an incredible take actually.
 

sezwho

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
2,094
Isle of Plum
I think looking at the Celtics shooting numbers this series on good looks it's really hard for me to put this on the coach. I find it an incredible take actually.
Like I said, please don't get me wrong I'm no where near putting it all on Joe, and yes had any shooting replaced brick laying they might have finished this thing. However they had championship aspirations and I don't think he was a net positive overall, though I'll consider him back to keep growing with the right surrounding coaching core. w/r/t shooting many NBA players talk about 3s falling after making a couple free throws or getting an easy shot. I'm not a believer that all shooting=random walk and they were just unlucky oh well. Even "open/really open/whatever else" there are shots with space but aren't in rhythm or your hot zone or aren't expected given shot clock, etc. and all that can be impacted by coaching. I think any coaching 'damage', such as it was, was done early via the extra losses and that Joe actually got stronger while the team ran out of gas and/or got hurt as the series went on.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
10,246
San Francisco
Like I said, please don't get me wrong I'm no where near putting it all on Joe, and yes had any shooting replaced brick laying they might have finished this thing. However they had championship aspirations and I don't think he was a net positive overall, though I'll consider him back to keep growing with the right surrounding coaching core. w/r/t shooting many NBA players talk about 3s falling after making a couple free throws or getting an easy shot. I'm not a believer that all shooting=random walk and they were just unlucky oh well. Even "open/really open/whatever else" there are shots with space but aren't in rhythm or your hot zone or aren't expected given shot clock, etc. and all that can be impacted by coaching. I think any coaching 'damage', such as it was, was done early via the extra losses and that Joe actually got stronger while the team ran out of gas and/or got hurt as the series went on.
I think we agree. I don't think Joe was a net positive in the playoffs. But in ranking the issues this team had he's pretty far down the list IMO.
 

sezwho

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
2,094
Isle of Plum
I think we agree. I don't think Joe was a net positive in the playoffs. But in ranking the issues this team had he's pretty far down the list IMO.
Yeah and my original post really wasn't to bury Joe (similar defenses could also be mounted for Sweeney or BB) it was more to say I've never looked back on a year of Boston sports seasons so significantly defined by questionable coaching. Lets hope Cora bucks trend : )
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
8,469
New York City
The more I think about it the more I don't think it makes sense to move on from Joe because there is no one available who is better.

For example, it would make zero sense to fire Mazzula and then bring in, say, Budenholzer - Budenholzer checks the "experience" box but he just oversaw basically the same exact collapse against Miami that Boston just went through. Monty Williams just oversaw two bad, earlier-than-expected series losses by the Suns. We all know the issues with Doc, who has also overseen his share of bad playoff exits. Nurse is off the market but even if he wasn't I'm not sure his manic style fits this team. And if the Cs instead went with an assistant or someone else with limited experience there's no telling whether that person would be any better/quicker at adapting to a head coaching role than Joe.

The only reason I could see for letting Mazzulla go is if Tatum/Brown really don't like him - which is possible, but on the other hand I wonder if they might actually prefer what seems to be his largely hands-off style of letting the players coach themselves to some degree.

On the other hand, Mazzula is far from a "must-keep" so not firing him this year doesn't mean that they should have much hesitation next offseason or whatever if someone legitimately better does become available.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,518
The more I think about it the more I don't think it makes sense to move on from Joe because there is no one available who is better.

For example, it would make zero sense to fire Mazzula and then bring in, say, Budenholzer - Budenholzer checks the "experience" box but he just oversaw basically the same exact collapse against Miami that Boston just went through. Monty Williams just oversaw two bad, earlier-than-expected series losses by the Suns. We all know the issues with Doc, who has also overseen his share of bad playoff exits. Nurse is off the market but even if he wasn't I'm not sure his manic style fits this team. And if the Cs instead went with an assistant or someone else with limited experience there's no telling whether that person would be any better/quicker at adapting to a head coaching role than Joe.

The only reason I could see for letting Mazzulla go is if Tatum/Brown really don't like him - which is possible, but on the other hand I wonder if they might actually prefer what seems to be his largely hands-off style of letting the players coach themselves to some degree.

On the other hand, Mazzula is far from a "must-keep" so not firing him this year doesn't mean that they should have much hesitation next offseason or whatever if someone legitimately better does become available.
To me this is basically where I sit. We see very little of what a coach does with a team, like 5% of it is in-game stuff. Joe made some mistakes, it became a narrative, but.... at the core of it, as a rookie he had a lot of success, more than many of the coaches recently fired. Coach is always a "grass is greener" thing in the NBA, GS has fans calling to fire Kerr for example. Somebody is going to hire Doc who is fine in the regular season, but struggles with all the things Joe did. Budenholzer got a kinda luck chip to keep his job, but he has decades as the guy who sets up a good regular season system the crashes out in the playoffs when he has no plan B. All coaches are flawed, and all coaches get too much credit for successes and blame for failures.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,090
I think we agree. I don't think Joe was a net positive in the playoffs. But in ranking the issues this team had he's pretty far down the list IMO.
What were the expectations though? Why are people expecting a guy thrown into the job 2-3 years early, literally overnight, without having his own staff, then losing his one assistant with front-row coaching experience mid season to be a net positive in his first year over an opposing coaching staff with (mostly) veteran head coaches and (all) having a full and experienced staff of assistants?

How are these expectations realistic? Despite all of that we were one game away from the NBA Finals in a game where our star is injured on the first play, our 6th man of the year is worthless the entire series due to injury, and Bad Jaylen showing up when he's needed the most.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,186
To me this is basically where I sit. We see very little of what a coach does with a team, like 5% of it is in-game stuff. Joe made some mistakes, it became a narrative, but.... at the core of it, as a rookie he had a lot of success, more than many of the coaches recently fired. Coach is always a "grass is greener" thing in the NBA, GS has fans calling to fire Kerr for example. Somebody is going to hire Doc who is fine in the regular season, but struggles with all the things Joe did. Budenholzer got a kinda luck chip to keep his job, but he has decades as the guy who sets up a good regular season system the crashes out in the playoffs when he has no plan B. All coaches are flawed, and all coaches get too much credit for successes and blame for failures.
I agree with almost all of this but I have to push back on the bolded. Maybe I am misreading you but my interpretation of what you wrote there is Joe made 1 or 2 mistakes and people just piled on him for no reason.

It became a narrative because Joe started off both the Sixers and Heat series making some truly bewildering decisions. He really stunk for a portion of the playoffs.

Luckily, I think he improved in both series and I think he deserves another shot 100%. But CJM earned all of the scorn he got.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
10,246
San Francisco
I agree with almost all of this but I have to push back on the bolded. Maybe I am misreading you but my interpretation of what you wrote there is Joe made 1 or 2 mistakes and people just piled on him for no reason.

It became a narrative because Joe started off both the Sixers and Heat series making some truly bewildering decisions. He really stunk for a portion of the playoffs.

Luckily, I think he improved in both series and I think he deserves another shot 100%. But CJM earned all of the scorn he got.
Which were the bewildering decisions?
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
5,646
What were the expectations though? Why are people expecting a guy thrown into the job 2-3 years early, literally overnight, without having his own staff, then losing his one assistant with front-row coaching experience mid season to be a net positive in his first year over an opposing coaching staff with (mostly) veteran head coaches and (all) having a full and experienced staff of assistants?

How are these expectations realistic? Despite all of that we were one game away from the NBA Finals in a game where our star is injured on the first play, our 6th man of the year is worthless the entire series due to injury, and Bad Jaylen showing up when he's needed the most.
I think CJM underperformed my lowered expectations. Considering the front office chose him to coach one of the NBA Finals betting favorites, instead a recent Finals winner like Vogel, I'd say the Celtics had a high opinion of Mazzulla as the one holdover from the Brad Stephens staff, so I took that into consideration.

There were some very odd decisions that demonstrably hurt the Celtics' win probability such as: holding the ball for the final shot in Philadelphia while trailing, inexplicably playing Blake Griffin against Atlanta, eschewing Grant Williams for multiple games, putting Pritchard on the court against a Butler lineup, and not playing two bigs against Embiid/Tucker. There were also good adjustments, but they often came late, sometimes long after many in the port cellar advocated for them.

I didn't expect Mazzulla to win the coaching matchup against Miami, Philadelphia, and Atlanta (whose coach the Celtics could have hired and is working with a patched together staff including the son of man the organization just fired) but I did not expect him to lose those battles decisively.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
45,711
Here
I'm not sure how anyone could say he lost all the coaching battles decisively. If Miami and Boston shot anywhere near their season averages, this would have been a fairly quick series. And it's not even like Miami was getting better looks. Miami was just making theirs at a crazy rate, and Boston was missing theirs at a crazy low rate. That's the fault of the players.
-Playing PP
Was worth a shot imo because Grant was largely worthless and Brogdon was hurt and Godawful. Gave it a shot, didn't work out, didn't repeat it. Can't blame him outside the moment of watching PP suck.
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
5,646
I'm not sure how anyone could say he lost all the coaching battles decisively. If Miami and Boston shot anywhere near their season averages, this would have been a fairly quick series. And it's not even like Miami was getting better looks. Miami was just making theirs at a crazy rate, and Boston was missing theirs at a crazy low rate. That's the fault of the players.
It's probably deceiving to look at single-season three point statistics. In the regular season, Al Horford shot 44.6% (career 37.4%) and Duncan Robinson shot 32.8% (career 39.9%). What looks like an outlier may actually be reversion to the mean.

Was worth a shot imo because Grant was largely worthless and Brogdon was hurt and Godawful. Gave it a shot, didn't work out, didn't repeat it. Can't blame him outside the moment of watching PP suck.
I'd agree with this, but Pritchard saw action in both halves in game 1 while Grant was a DNP-CD, so the adjustment came too late here.

For clarity's sake, Pritchard's second half minutes likely did not cost the Celtics game one, but in my opinion it diminished their win probability.
 

teddykgb

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
11,287
Chelmsford, MA
But playing an offense that is so heavily reliant on 3s does open the possibility of a cold spell that sinks your season. D’Antonis teams were always vulnerable in the same way. They (the Celtics)had absolutely no other way to score so had to go down with the ship.

In truth I wonder if what we call mental toughness issues or their inability to sustain success is just the natural variance of being such a 3 point oriented team. The numbers are what they are and they will produce wins over 82 games but in the short haul of a 7 game series we keep needing the full 7 and playing with fire because it seems to be impossible to just shoot to your averages every night against playoffdefenses
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
52,163
It's hard to know what is a coaching decision and what is individual or collective player failure but they spent a lot of time these playoffs going under screens and/or playing drop coverage essentially rolling out the red carpet for good shooters to get open looks. Again, I don't know if that was a tactical error, motivational error, or what, but it cost them multiple games. When they worked to suppress those looks and forced guys to put the ball on the floor, good things happened, but they just didn't do that enough. They did a pretty good job of defending Butler and Bam but the perimeter D was freaking terrible and a lot of it came down to passiveness, confusion, and/or laziness.. This to me is the biggest sin largely because we have seen these same players do incredible work in this area in the not-so-distant past.

The offensive deficiencies I don't put on him alone because as we've said ad nauseam this is who they have shown us to be time after time in these situations. We started the season looking like the GOAT offense with tons of ball movement and then reverted, which feels like a player thing to me. I think they need a little culture change on this front because they see the things that work then go back to what is comfortable even when it doesn't work. A lot of this is personnel—regular season defenses aren't punishing their general lack of quick penetration the way good playoff defenses are. We saw hints of it last year and it was exposed again here. Limited options for Joe when the guards aren't getting by anybody and one of the highest usage players on the team can't dribble or pass. I do think they can scheme some different looks although there's nobody on the team right now you even trust to make an entry pass except maybe Tatum and he can't pass it to himself so...
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
8,618
What I find a bit hard to understand with CJM is that it seems like other teams are able to run a defensive scheme so they can get something out of players that aren't two way players. Why can Miami find a way to use players like Max Strus and Duncan Robinson but CJM can't get anything from PP or Sam Hauser? Would it be the end of the world if they had a different defensive strategy for some of the game?
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,518
Wow, they gave him $14 million? What on earth for? Talk about bidding against yourself.
That's likely under league average. only $4.7M average is pretty low for a head coach, at least 10 guys make over $6.5M per year that I can find.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
28,189
Saskatoon Canada
Wow, they gave him $14 million? What on earth for? Talk about bidding against yourself.
My guess is the players were, at best upset initially about Ime, then opened the season on a role and the confidence they showed Joe was to tell the players this is the coach and Ime wasn't walking through that door.

It may have appeared to be ending ga problem, but it may have just created a new problem.
 
Last edited:

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
20,617
St. Louis, MO
But playing an offense that is so heavily reliant on 3s does open the possibility of a cold spell that sinks your season. D’Antonis teams were always vulnerable in the same way. They (the Celtics)had absolutely no other way to score so had to go down with the ship.

In truth I wonder if what we call mental toughness issues or their inability to sustain success is just the natural variance of being such a 3 point oriented team. The numbers are what they are and they will produce wins over 82 games but in the short haul of a 7 game series we keep needing the full 7 and playing with fire because it seems to be impossible to just shoot to your averages every night against playoffdefenses
I think the defensive regression was the undoing…they rely on stops to get in the open floor and create catch and shoot opportunities. When they don’t get stops, the offense is really pedestrian in the halfcourt and they struggle to find looks and often force 3’s.